Free Patriotic Movement chief Gebran Bassil on Sunday announced that he might nominate himself for the presidency should the other parties reject the FPM proposals for consensus.
“There is a financial, economic, social, health, educational, institutional, judicial and legal collapse, and there are fears that it might turn into a security one. They are threatening us with it and incitement is ongoing to justify the election (as president) of the ‘security necessity candidate,’” Bassil said in a televised address.
Bassil’s statement was an apparent jab at Army Commander General Joseph Aoun.
“The army chief is violating the laws of defense and public accounting, usurping the defense minister’s powers by force and acting as he pleases with the army’s funds and assets,” Bassil added.
Commenting on recent remarks, the FPM chief said it would be “an act of national and political madness to think of electing a president without the Christians.”
He added that a recent stance by Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat, who “rejected” that Christians be sidelined, was a “patriotic and responsible stance.”
“It can be capitalized on to build common life in the heart of Mount Lebanon,” Bassil added.
The FPM chief also revealed that his party has devised a “preliminary draft” containing the names of several potential presidential candidates.
Those candidates are “better than the proposed ones,” Bassil said.
“We have started a round of contacts with MPs and blocs to hear their proposals and to agree with them on a host of names,” he added.
He said that another suggestion would be “agreeing to any candidate who has chances on the condition that, prior to his election, the blocs supporting him would implement reformist demands,” most notably “the decentralization law and the law for recovering transferred funds.”
“Should the first and second endeavors fail and our stances be considered as resulting from weakness rather than keenness, I will seriously think of running for president regardless of loss or win, so that we at least preserve the principle of legitimate representation,” Bassil added.
Bassil was sanctioned by the United States in 2020.